Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hickson 19

More Faulkes data has landed in the Bristol Astronomical Societies inbox, and this time is that rather faint Hickson Compact Galaxy group 19. Faint being the understatement here - the brightest component being at magnitude 14.5! Luckily, the FingerLakes IMG42-40 camera on Faulkes North is more than up to the job with its rather sensitive 4 megapixel E2V CCD sensor. Unfortunately member HCG19c was just clipped of the top of the frame :(

Doing the usual Googling around the internet turned up a few familiar websites with images of HCG19 - again showing that detailed images of these galaxies are not readily available. Uncle Rod has an "amateur" image of the cluster using his Celestron Nexstar11GPS, e also have the DSS image on the Italian Uriland website, and the wonderfully useful Aladin brings up the "tech specs" of the grouping nicely.

As usual, the blue channel was a lot fainter than the red (which had the strongest signal) but the overall noise was a lot less that we have seen in the past, making it possible to pull an LRGB image out of it. The luminance channel was synthesized from balancing the intensity of all 30 frames in the 3 channels and processed for maximum detail (using deconvolution) and minimal noise. This was then used with the base red, green, and blue channels that were just stacked, white balanced via the star on the middle-left of the image, and aligned. All initial processing was performed in Iris, with PixInsight being used for multiple passes of GREYCStoration to remove as much noise as possible. I hope you like the results!

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